A wolf howls in the autumn morning, and is joined by three other voices. It could be Alaska, but instead it’s tony Westchester County in the suburbs of New York City, where no wolves have lived for more than a century. These wolves aren’t wild; they’re residents of the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC).
WCC is tucked away at the end of a dirt road on 26 acres of deciduous forest and wetlands. The center, operating out of a donated trailer and decorated with near-life size cutouts of top predators, opened in 1999 with a mission to promote wolf conservation through education.
Programs typically begin with a 45-minute multimedia presentation to separate the facts from folklore. Barry Braeden, educator and wolf caretaker, always has a specific goal for the educational programs. "We want visitors to leave here with four messages," he says. "Wolves in the wild are not dangerous, wolves play a vital role in the ecosystem, wolves are not pets and saving the world is the daily responsibility of all of us."